Manchester police record first hate crime arrest following emo assault

Two people arrested following assault on 16-year-old in Ashton-Under-Lyne

Police in Manchester have recorded their first arrest for a hate crime against a member of an alternative subcultural group, following last week’s announcement that they would treat offences against punks, emos and goths in the same way as those based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender.

A 44-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy from Manchester were arrested in the centre of Ashton-under-Lyne, east of Manchester, following the reported assault of a 16-year-old boy. The young man who was assaulted regards himself as an emo and reported the crime as an alternative subculture hate crime, introduced by Manchester police this week. The two arrested have been released on police bail until May 7.

Speaking to The Guardian, assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “Officers will be reviewing CCTV and speaking to witnesses in order to investigate this attack thoroughly, as we do with all crimes. It is unfortunate that this incident happened, but the fact we were able to identify this as a hate crime is very positive. Just last Thursday we announced that we will now record alternative subculture as a hate motivation. We hope this encourages victims to continue to come forward so we can take positive action against offenders.”

Greater Manchester Police are the first force in Britain to take the step to protect members of alternative subcultures from abuse. The decision by Manchester police comes after campaigning by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity set up in memory of a 20-year-old who was murdered in a park in Manchester for dressing as a goth. Sophie Lancaster’s mother Sylvia Lancaster, founder of the foundation, said: “It is a very proud day for me personally and the rest of the team… It is a validation of the work we have undertaken in the past five years and hopefully other forces will follow [Greater Manchester Police’s] lead. A big thank you to Greater Manchester Police and all our supporters.”

Last year, it emerged that over 50 ’emo’ young people were reportedly killed in Iraq following the a clampdown by conservative militia in the country.